Minnesota Justice for All Web Page
Minnesota Justice For All Strategic Action Plan

Strategic Planning Grant: 2016
Implementation Grant: 2018

Minnesota’s plan priorities include: robust communication and collaboration among stakeholders; expanding community integration and outreach; unbundling legal assistance; focusing on triage, referral and channel integration; and simplifying family court processes.

Its action plan includes: 

  • Convening a Triage Portal Advisory Committee to ensure long-term success of a project to redesign the civil legal aid online intake system;
  • Recommending simplified family law processes;
  • Coordinating a roster of private attorneys willing to provide unbundled services;
  • Creating a toolkit of resources and templates relevant to rural housing cases; 
  • Funding community dispute resolution programs; and
  • Participating in general community and prevention work.

Completed Planning Project

Outreach to a wide range of stakeholders (including over 20 social service and community voice providers) concluded that Minnesota has strong civil legal aid and court self-help resources, but gaps to fill include legal representation and alternative dispute resolution resources for people who are outside the civil legal aid income or priority guidelines. As part of the planning process, the Minnesota State Bar Association, the Hennepin County Bar Association and the Ramsey County Bar Association came together to discuss a statewide, coordinated unbundled attorney roster. Minnesota identified five goals for the first phase of implementation:

  1. Simplify family law court processes to maximize both efficiency and resources within the Minnesota Judicial Branch and improve litigant usability, trust and confidence in the civil justice system;
  2. Increase the number of attorneys providing limited scope representation to low- and middle-income people with civil legal needs through a robust and effective referral system;
  3. Create a “no wrong door” system through which people with civil legal needs access legal information, self-help resources and legal providers through a user-centric approach that places the burden on the system to provide the base referral at the outset;
  4. Integrate legal information, resources and referrals into community settings through co-located services, community collaboration and prevention efforts that build trust and decrease the number of civil court cases with a specific focus on the prevention of housing evictions across Minnesota; and
  5. Increase communication across existing governance structures to implement the Justice for All projects and create a new governance committee specific to the triage portal work. 

Its implementation projects include:

Developing and supporting a fully functioning triage and channeling portal connected to a continuum of meaningful and appropriate services for people with civil legal needs, regardless of income.  

  • Minnesota already has been successful in securing funding from Legal Services Corporation (Technology Initiative Grant) and a Minnesota Court Technology Fund grant to create the infrastructure of a triage and channeling portal. 
  • Upon receipt of the JFA Implementation grant funds, the Minnesota Supreme Court appointed a new governance committee focused on the triage portal system comprised of representatives from civil legal aid, court self-help, bar associations, ADR programs, community partners, United Way 2-1-1 and libraries. This new governance committee reports to the Minnesota Supreme Court through its existing Legal Services Advisory Committee. 
  • If successful, this triage portal will connect users to a continuum of meaningful and appropriate services for people with civil legal needs regardless of income.

Point person: Bridget Gernander (Minnesota Judicial Branch)